Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to Atlanta

Maintaining Brain Health

Being fit and healthy doesn’t stop at the neck. The health of your brain, a vital organ, has perhaps the largest impact on the quality of your everyday life. Your brain impacts everything you do; from thinking and feeling to maintaining independence and participating in the world around you. While the risk factors for dementia, genetics and aging, cannot be controlled, adopting a brain-healthy lifestyle today can delay the onset and severity of dementia and keep your golden years looking bright.

A brain-healthy lifestyle begins with your overall physical fitness. The brain is a highly vascular organ that benefits from a healthy diet and exercise regimen just as much as your heart does. Controlling cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high-cholesterol, obesity, and physical inactivity has been shown to delay dementia and cognitive decline. Eating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, while eliminating refined and processed foods, incorporating daily exercise such as walks, swimming, and resistance training programs, and seeing your doctor regularly for heart check-ups, will all have a major impact on the health of your brain, despite genetics and aging.

In addition to physical fitness, other factors that contribute to a healthy brain include having a close social network and participating in hobbies and activities that engage your brain. The saying, “use it or lose it” is appropriate here because studies show that the more a brain is stimulated by social interactions and intellectual tasks the younger it remains, despite the numerical age of a person. Play cards with friends and you’ll kill two birds with one stone!

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